Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Technical, Bike forums > Which Bike?

Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

AMERICA’S PREMIER MANUFACTURER OF MOTORCYCLE SUSPENSION

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 29 Mar 2010
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: colorado
Posts: 13
Talking Thumper or 2 cylinder for US to TDF?

Hi everybody. This is my first post and I'm sure some variation of it has already been asked so bear with me.

I am a 6' tall 34 yo man with a great deal of travel experience, but virtually zero riding experience. What sold moto-touring for me, was having rented a motorbike on Bali for 2 weeks. Talk about a slice of heaven.

Anyway, Im sold on the idea and I finally have enough $ to make this actually happen. My first hurdle is the bike. Like many, I saw my first F800gs and was instantly aroused. However, as I have been doing more and more research, i realize how unimportant my first impressions were.

For a fellow doing the central/S.A. routes i am now perfectly comfortable buying a used and farlkled jap bike, and no longer feel compelled toward the BMW. Although I realize most any late model dual sport bike will be by and large just fine, my dilemma seems to have come down to cylinders and overall power.


Whereas I know I will do plenty of off tarmac driving and exploring, I am also confident I will be logging many many hours on paved roads as well.

The biggest dilemma for me is not whether to drop $6 large for a new KLR vs. $13 for an f800gs, It is simply: does the extra power and comfort of a 2 cylinder merit choosing one for S.A. vs a thumper?

I have NO idea how vibrations will affect me with distance riding, as I am a complete noob.

What I have come up with is this list, with my surface thoughts:

F800gs- Super sexy, but I have a real hard time justifying the price tag when a KLR type thumper can do almost the exact same things. Used ones in the USA seem almost non-existent.

F650gs twin- if i go BMW, a used f650gs twin would likely be my choice- at about $6500 for a 2007 with farkle and low miles, why not?

KLR- since the price point is so low, id likely opt for a new one even though the current models are hideously ugly. Still KLRs seem great regarding performance, particularly with the right add-ons.

Yamaha Tenere 660- This is one sexy bike but it appears it is not readily available in the USA new or used.

Honda africa twin- havent done too much research, but it too seems on par with the tenere and klr.


So my budget is hovering in the ballpark of 8 grand ( preferably with upgrades included), but I could go higher or preferably lower.

I lean towards a twin, but havent the experience to know if it is even worth it for this trip. The leader so far is the used BMW f650gs (because of the more powerful engine and 2 cylinders), but I could give a toss if it is a BMW or not. I just want the right bike for the job. I have no problem dropping 5K on a used bike then to add another 3-4K of upgrades. I see no point in getting a brand new F800gs, unless i want to stare at every night with an erection.

thanks in advance for the advice- cristiano
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 29 Mar 2010
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,508
Twins are more comfortable over a greater range of speeds.
I wouldn't write off the Triumph bonneville at this stage
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 29 Mar 2010
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: colorado
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldbmw View Post
Twins are more comfortable over a greater range of speeds.
I wouldn't write off the Triumph bonneville at this stage


triumph bonneville for this trip? if that is a joke it is definitely funny- otherwise, i am indeed planning on plenty of off-road exploring and dont think that would cut the mustard...

thanks for your reply, though
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 29 Mar 2010
Super Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: bellingham, WA, USA
Posts: 1,984
I wonder if you've been reading the many, many threads here on the Hubb and over on ADV rider which address your question at exhaustive length. If so, and you're finding you still have those very basic questions, may I suggest finding a bike and riding it? No one else's preferences are going to tell you what you need to know. Buy, rent, borrow, or jack a bike and see how it works out for you.

(Guess I gave in to the urge to be briefly sarcastic. Please don't jack a bike.)

And if you're planning lots of off-road, you might say that in your original post, not in response to someone's well-intentioned (I have no doubt) response.

Hope that helps.

Mark
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 29 Mar 2010
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: colorado
Posts: 13
Marc-

Who rides from the USA to Tierra Del Fuego on a dual sport without leaving the tarmac? Maybe you were too busy formulating a smart- ass response to read my post thoroughly to see this quote:

" Whereas I know I will do plenty of off tarmac driving and exploring, I am also confident I will be logging many many hours on paved roads as well."

Last edited by Grant Johnson; 29 Mar 2010 at 15:39. Reason: unnecessary stuff deleted.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 29 Mar 2010
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 59
KLR Spam

Here's what I'm gonna take...this one is for sale I have another.
08 KLR, moto-sport bavaria panniers, sw-motech bars, 1990 miles, new shinko 705's not installed. Side panel is off as I just pre-fitted panniers.
$4200 Colorado



Mike
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 29 Mar 2010
chucky55's Avatar
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 66
Dr650

Don't forget the DR 650, try a variety until you find one that suits, as mentioned already.
__________________
I'm not getting older; I'm just progressing through LIFE!! Harleys do not have a throttle- they have VOLUME control!!!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 29 Mar 2010
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: colorado
Posts: 13
Thanks Mike and Chucky-

Mike, I have another 2 months before I make my purchase, so If at that time you are still selling I may be happy to contact you. Chucky, good point- I had failed to mention the DR.

I am also hoping to hear from people who have made this specific trip, and what their opinions are regarding 2 vs 1 cylinder and power as it relates to the roads and adventures S.Am. has to offer.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 29 Mar 2010
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by cristiano View Post
Thanks Mike and Chucky-

Mike, I have another 2 months before I make my purchase, so If at that time you are still selling I may be happy to contact you. Chucky, good point- I had failed to mention the DR.

I am also hoping to hear from people who have made this specific trip, and what their opinions are regarding 2 vs 1 cylinder and power as it relates to the roads and adventures S.Am. has to offer.
No problem, it is not listed for sale just thought I could help out a fellow rider. I may ship it to Europe and store it in Germany or somewhere in SA. That way I can do some real traveling on the 3 months I have off for summer. I'm a pretty big guy but I would love to try it on a Yam w250r...one guy on adv travels quite extensively on one.
Good Luck,
Mike
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 29 Mar 2010
chucky55's Avatar
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 66
any bike

Lois on the loose did the same trip on a Serrow 225, many RTW;s use singles for the simple motor (easy to fix on the road), and plenty of torque in big single.

If you search hubb, ride tales, every one's different, and use bikes that they are comfortable with.

Cheer from Oz.
__________________
I'm not getting older; I'm just progressing through LIFE!! Harleys do not have a throttle- they have VOLUME control!!!
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 29 Mar 2010
Super Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: bellingham, WA, USA
Posts: 1,984
You'll figure it out. Good luck and safe journeys!

Mark
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 29 Mar 2010
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: West Yorkshire UK
Posts: 1,224
Quote:
Originally Posted by cristiano View Post
triumph bonneville for this trip? if that is a joke it is definitely funny- otherwise, i am indeed planning on plenty of off-road exploring and dont think that would cut the mustard...

thanks for your reply, though
Don't knock what you havn't tried. I'm yet to find a road a Bonneville with knobblies wouldn't get through (compare the spec sheet to a R80GS and ignore the advertising photos of blokes going out for coffee three miles from home). Still, I'm only 6 years into Bonneville ownership so there are a few roads still to try. Find the Scrambler thread over on ADV rider and you'll see just how wrong Triumph's "old blokes bike" advertising is.

Given your coments about the F800 I think that's what you want and you should just go get one. No need for anyone here to support or not support your decision, it'll do the job. Personally I think it won't do the job 40% better than a KLR or DR to justify the price and you'd have to be sure you like electronic modules over mechanical bits when it breaks, but that's only me. Single or twin won't make a jot of difference compared to training your body to take a decent number of miles per day, day after day. Sounds like a classic case of head saying KLR, heart saying F800 which I'm afraid no one can answer for you unless they are just going to pass on their own personal choices as gospel. There is no right answer, only choices.

Andy
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 29 Mar 2010
Dodger's Avatar
Large Golden Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 1,098
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyingdoctor View Post
Well done, you're going to go far on here gobbing off to people
Agreed .
__________________
Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light. - Spike Milligan
"When you come to a fork in the road ,take it ! When you come to a spoon in the road ,take that also ."
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 29 Mar 2010
chris's Avatar
Probably out riding
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: God's Own County
Posts: 2,283
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodger View Post
Agreed .
Agreed
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 29 Mar 2010
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: colorado
Posts: 13
Clarifications

In order to clear up a few misunderstandings, I'm going to lay a few thoughts on the table:

When I responded to OldBMW's post where he said, "I wouldn't write off the Triumph bonneville at this stage ",

I wasn't slagging him off- I thought he may have been making a joke regarding Che Guevara's Motorcycle Diaries on which they rode a Triumph.

Personally, I would love a triumph, and I'm sure the bike could do the trip adequately. Its just when I look at pictures of it, its low ground clearance, exposed piping et cetera, it doesn't instinctively strike me as an ideal all around performance bike for that trip. Technically I could do the trip on a vespa or a push bike, but that isn't what I had in mind. I will thank OldBMW again for his input, though. There was no intended smack talking in my response despite what people may wish to read into it.

now @ marc:

Sorry I came off as brash, but If you are going to go through the time consuming process of reading my lengthy post, logging in and typing a paragraph response, and not say anything constructive or helpful, and instead use that time to invalidate my post, of course I'm going to have words with you. I would truly love to hear about your expertise and point of view if you would be so kind as to direct your energies to a constructive response. I'll have you know that I had literally spent hours reading post after post after post, before writing my own. If you have links to old postings that answer my questions that perhaps I overlooked, again, I would have appreciated the constructive response and followed the links.

@ Threewheeledbonnie:

Again, in no way am I knocking the Triumph. I would love to own one. I'll indulge your suggestion and do some research, though, as I am always open to new ideas. Intuitively, when I see bikes more tailor-made for trips like this, that is where I instinctively lean. As for you thinking I really want the F800gs, well, sure, but not too much more than any other bike. Its flash, its well built, and undoubtedly fun to ride. However, it is also undoubtedly overpriced, and pointless to buy in the light of something virtually as good for half the price. Would I take a used F800 all modded up if I could find one for $8K? Quite possibly. But have no mistake, I am very very happy with the KLR etc. for half the cost. In the end, all I care about is performance tailored to this trip. The reason I was posting my question about the dual vs. thumper was because if the dual is simply flat-out unnecessary, I would be overjoyed to have a used and fully modded KLR or similar for ~$6K. I particularly like the idea of being able to fix most problems on the bike myself especially if I'm stuck in-between places. The Japs afford me this luxury. Finally, thanks Andy for your point of view on training your body for the ride. That is exactly the type of response I'm seeking.

So everybody, please continue with the constructive responses, as I'd be happy to listen to your personal experiences and tales from the road all day. I mean that.

Cheers-
Cristiano
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 2 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 2 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
KLE cylinder head ranfog Kawasaki 3 25 Jan 2009 19:42
Wanted, BIG thumper. Suffolk or close. moto_psycho TRAVEL Bikes for Sale / Wanted 0 20 Nov 2008 22:28
KLR650 vs 400cc Thumper for Trans Am trail and Baja California? chris North America 5 4 May 2008 19:53
KLR650 vs. 400cc Thumper for Baja/Trans Am Trail? chris Which Bike? 0 14 Apr 2008 11:44
Cylinder fencer Yamaha Tech 0 16 Jun 2006 19:37

 
 


HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.


Renedian Adventures


Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 01:24.